Let’s Talk About Water – Landforms & Landscapes

Welcome to the sixth edition of Let’s Talk About Water, the water and film festival in Delft. We use the power of cinema to inform and to spark debate on a wide variety of topics that are connected through water. This year’s theme is Landforms & Landscapes. The films take us on many journeys around the world, influenced by geophysical changes that appear in the news on a regular basis. In Syria, at the most extreme, war and conflict change landscapes. It has been suggested but not verified that drought may have been the driver. But whatever the reason, masses of refugees started traversing borders, seas and continents in a heartbreaking search for a better life. We will take a look at some of their stories. On the other side of the globe, in the high Andes where glaciers and snow are disappearing, bare rockface replaces ski slopes and drinking water now is unavailable. All around us landforms and landscapes are changing. And yet, within the climate models, water is hardly ever addressed. As we make our way to Kenya, a tree planting activist is suffering from the unprecedented and unpredictable nature of weather as well. With the hope that the planting of trees would encourage retention of soil and moisture, sudden flooding after years of drought wiped out his efforts. These things are all interconnected by water. By changing landscapes on a big scale, we influence circulation patterns and by disrupting the global water cycle we are affecting people everywhere. As we journey across India from the source to the mouth of the Ganges we encounter issues of water quality. Industry and agriculture pollute the Ganges, even though it is a sacred and revered river. After quantity and quality we look at another major water issue, power and power sharing, which leads to the world of transboundary conflicts. How to resolve them? What better example than the Nile basin, home to the narratives and myths that infuse many cultures? It takes us across eleven countries that share the Nile. Another adventure will take us to the Taurus Mountains, where nomadic tribes traditionally migrate on a seasonal basis following virtual water for their animals, the water in plants, a measure that’s often overlooked in water models. The world is an interlocking set of watersheds that connect all these stories. – Let’s Talk About Water!

On Friday 9 February, Nile specialist Prof. Terje Tvedt will be our guest to present the third part of The Nile Quest, his acclaimed trilogy on this river basin.

Saturday 10 February the Nile is also center stage in a thematic evening with films and presentations in the Falie Begijnhof Theater, including the first two parts of The Nile Quest.

On Monday 12 February, one of the oldest documentaries, Grass, a Nation’s Battle for Life (1925) shows the annual migration of a nomadic tribe in Iran.

In Watermark the mesmerizing camera of photographer Edward Burtynsky spectacularly captures how water shapes our world (Tuesday 13 February).

Holy (un)Holy River on Wednesday 14 February, relates how the Ganges, an iconic part of Indian culture, lives and (sometimes almost) dies.

Climate change provides for a personal story in beautiful Samuel in the Clouds (Thursday 15 February) about a snowless ski lift in the High Andes.

And on Friday 16 February, an active Kenyan farmer takes charge of the camera in Thank You for the Rain and exposes the Western approach to climate.

We end the program on Saturday afternoon, 17 February, with Human Flow, a portrait of global migration by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. And to give us a ray of hope, we will start that screening with a short film produced by UNRWA (the UN organization for the Palestinian camps), about their infrastructure improvement program (FICIP) to enhance the lives of refugees in the varied camps of Lebanon. Looking forward to seeing you!


All films are English spoken or subtitled, unless otherwise indicated (Dutch subtitled). The language of discussions is English. The entrance fee is €5, students €3, sometimes free.